Sunday, October 05, 2008
No More Fast Food
I have been tracking our finances more thoroughly lately and was appalled to realize how much money we spent eating out each month. With air fares going through the roof (they have close to doubled for a flight to Ethiopia) we need to be socking away as much money as possible right now. Add to that the fact that the holidays are coming, and I was sent into a little panic a few weeks ago about the state of our financial affairs.

I will be honest here. This adoption is completely a faith based operation. We had part of the money in our bank account when we started the process and now we are pretty tapped out. We have spent about $9,000.00 so far and we have at least that much still to go. When we receive our referral we will have to pay $5,600.00 for the fees associated with that and then travel to pick up our kiddo. Obviously we will need to fly and pay for lodging and food. So, that basically leaves us broke.

I am comforted in knowing that we will get a lot of that money back when we file our taxes as the government gives adoptive families a $10,600 tax credit. Many employers also offer benefits for adoption. We are blessed that hubby's work will give us $4,000.00 per child after the adoption is complete.

So, I guess this is one of the biggest quandary's of adoptive parents. How to pay for your adoption? As you can see a large part of costs are reimbursed to the families, however, you have to pay for them out of pocket first.

After I kept a little better track of our money for a few weeks I decided that the amount of money we spent going out to eat was RIDICULOUS. Part of the reason for this is sports. When we get busy running the kids around from this game to that one there is no time to stay home and cook so we eat out. We just don't go through the drive thru. Oh no, we go to a sit down meal. This had to stop.

So, hubby and I discussed it and we decided to try and not eat out AT ALL for 30 days and see how much money we could save. We started this little experiment a week ago Friday which was September 26th. We have made it 9 whole days without eating out. A remarkable feet for our family.

This change has not come without some bumps in the road. Tonight Zach had a game at 6:00 p.m. about 30 minutes away and we were all going to go. However, I had made a big lunch around 1:30 after church but hadn't planned anything for dinner. I would have needed to make a picnic dinner to take with us as we had to leave by 4:30. I hadn't planned ahead well enough and decided to stay home instead as we would have had no choice but to feed the kids at the drive thru. I felt badly because I had missed Zach's last two games but he said he understood and was fine with us not going. He and his Dad probably are enjoying the time alone together.

Anyway, I learned a lesson about planning ahead and the kids aren't complaining about not eating out. I have noticed them becoming more involved in meal preparation in the last week and tonight we all cooked together. It was very fun.

There is a plate in the oven with meatloaf, mashed potato's, corn bread and salad for hubby and Zach when they come home. I had to remind them before they left that "No, you can not hit a drive thru after the game even though it will be 9:00 p.m when the game ends". I suggested they pack a snack to tide them over until they got home.

Zach rolled his eyes at me. I am sure he is missing the days of the unlimited ATM card access.

I'll report back at the end of the 30 days and let you know how much money I was able to save. I'm really excited to find out what the final number will be.

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  posted at 7:42 PM  

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

Well you are a brave family! Thirty days??? That will be an amazing feat!

At 4:32 PM, Blogger The Gang's All Here! said...

With ya on the tight budget and adoption by faith journey! We're still walking by faith, even now to pay off what we had to borrow! Tight belts all around . . .

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

We run around all the time and although I used to be good at not eating out, life is much more crazy now. But even that dollar menu adds up.

I'm glad you have some hope in the future for funding, but I have no idea how I would raise that kind of money either.

Good luck!

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Janice said...

I so feel your pinch! As a fellow mom of many and all involved in different activities, it is staggering the times we eat in the car and on the go!

I think you could also encourage yourself in the fact that you will all be healthier and maybe a pound or two lighter on the scale as the wallet fattens up!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Missy said...

We do the same thing...grab something quick between kids sports practices. When I am really on the ball and do cook ahead freezer meals, we save a ton of $$. We have tried 30 days before and never make it past 2 weeks...but we did save quie a bit! Good Luck and can't wait to hear what you saved!

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Lori said...

It is so hard with kids being in sports. We've tightened our belt around here too. You're not alone, we are going broke also. The bills keep getting paid, but sometimes I wonder how. We live paycheck to paycheck and only by the grace of God!

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Qtpies7 said...

I would love to see what happens if we stopped eating out. But honestly, I don't think it is cheaper to cook for our family that it is to his the dollar menu for us all. Very frustrating.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger julie said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies. I am a little under the weather today so almost ordered pizza, but I stuck with it and made pasta. I am so very proud of myself.

We have made it 11 days and I have lost 2 pounds. Probably from all the extra dishes I am doing, and I am to exhausted at night to snack. lol.

Thanks again,

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Sandi said...

Great job Julie!

We have done this and it is such a huge money saver.

One thing that we did add in once we got things under control was cash for this sort of thing. We give ourselves, my husband and I, $20 cash per week to be used for fast food or coffees or sodas. That way you can see how quickly $20 goes. I have found that most weeks I have money left over, where if I had been using my debit card I would have spent far more.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Ah, yes, that McDonald's dollar menu calls to us frequently -- esp. during pregnancy when I am SOOO tired at about 5 pm.

I'm glad you are getting so much credit for your adoption. We really need to encourage it more in this country. How many people won't even consider it because of the costs? I've known several families to adopt internationally and I so respect the commitment it takes.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger atHisrighthand said...

I feel your pain. My husband wants us to do the same thing.. My problem is I hate cooking.. LOL oh well...
I can't wait to hear how much you save!


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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